With Ford’s current IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship and FIA WEC GT programs set to expire at the end of 2019, Ford global motorsports director Mark Rushbrook says remaining in GT as part of an extension or moving up to prototypes could take place.
“What we’re looking at is what makes sense, whether that’s continuing with the GT program, whether it’s a prototype program, and if that’s in IMSA with DPi and WEC with LMP1, or ideally – what we’d like, as a global company, candidly – is we like global programs,” he told RACER and a small group of reporters over breakfast in Sebring.
“Like the GT, we can take that same [car] and apply it racing in IMSA and WEC around the world very efficiently. Ultimately, what we’d like to see in prototype, that would make us interested, would be a common set of rules so we can run it in WEC, run it in IMSA, and run three or four cars at Le Mans.”
Ongoing talks between IMSA, the WEC, and the ACO regarding a DPi-style prototype formula that would be able to race throughout the world and at the 24 Hours of Le Mans could see rules established for somewhere in the 2020-2022 range.
Depending on if and when those regulations are produced, Ford could have a gap between the planned end of its GT effort and the start of something new.
“For me, continuity is important,” Rushbrook added. “We don’t want to take the next step without knowing what the longer term is. Once we set or understand what’s happening in the prototype world, or what’s happening in the GT rules because they’re talking about new rules there as well, then we can figure out the right timeframe to bridge to that future.”
The option for making Ford GTs accessible for customers after 2019 was also mentioned as an option, along with ceasing its WeatherTech Championship and WEC efforts.